Clever lyrics stirred into old-fashioned country sound
April 25, 2019
It might be an understatement to say that the past three years have been a whirlwind for members of the country supergroup Old Dominion.
They’ve been nominated nearly a dozen times for prestigious music awards, taken home three trophies, released two albums and at least eight singles, and toured with megastars Kenny Chesney and Thomas Rhett.
Now, Old Dominion is headlining their own world tour that includes a stop at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, May 2. They’ll be joined by special guests Jordan Davis and Mitchell Tenpenny.
The band was formed in 2007 and is made up of five artists. Lead singer Matthew Ramsey moved to Nashville in 2000 to kick off a songwriting career and had written several hits recorded by other musicians like Luke Bryan, Craig Morgan, and Dierks Bentley.
A couple of years later he met guitarist and keyboardist Trevor Rosen, and the two, along with drummer Whit Sellers and bassist Geoff Spring, became Old Dominion. Guitar player Brad Tursi joined the group in 2012.
Old Dominion’s first No. 1 single, “Break Up With Him,” went platinum in 2015. Since then, the band has released a string of chart toppers like “Snapback” in 2016, “Written in the Sand” in 2017, and “Hotel Key” in 2018.
The band’s become known for combining an old-fashioned sound with witty lyrics to produce pop/country songs that resonate with fans of both genres. As their debut studio album Meat and Candy climbed the charts with the catchy “Song for Another Time,” their popularity skyrocketed.
In an interview with All Access Music Group, Rosen talked about how they came up with the album’s name.
“With the title and the cover, we were joking around saying, ‘Well, we’ve got a lot of candy songs, but we really need some more meat on this,’” Rosen said. “And someone goes, ‘Well, we should call the album Meat and Candy.’ And it was kind of like a passing comment, but we started thinking about it and thinking it would be a good idea.”
In 2016, they were named New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Nominations followed from the CMT Music Awards, American Music Awards, and the Country Music Association.
Priming the next album
Last year turned out to be quite a year for Old Dominion, when both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music named Old Dominion the Vocal Group of the Year.
After the big win at the CMAs, Ramsey told reporters, “We’re very proud. We’ve put a lot of hard work into what we do. We love what we do but it’s really very validating getting recognized for it.”
The single “Make It Sweet” is the first single from their upcoming album, which is yet unnamed and expected to be released in the spring.
“It’s the perfect snapshot of where this album is headed. It was such a pure and honest moment with us, because we wrote it in the studio and recorded that song in the same day,” Ramsey said to CMT in November. “It really captured who we are as songwriters right now and who we are as musicians right now. We are just real comfortable and confident in our place right now. Great things are happening.”